David Mammadov, the CTO of Azqtel, Azerbaijan is speaking in the IP Network Evolution track on Day One of the Broadband World Forum, taking place on the 22nd – 24th October 2013 at the RAI Exhibition and Convention Centre, Amsterdam. Ahead of the show we speak to him about the evolution of its network from WiMAX to TD-LTE.
What are the biggest challenges you face as you look to develop your network in the next 12 months?
We are continually looking for ways to expand our network coverage and to deploy new technologies and we are currently evaluating the upgrade of our WiMAX technology to LTE. The biggest challenge we face is making sure we develop and execute the correct network evolution strategy. In addition, we have to make sure that we are able to secure the right frequency ranges, which will have the widest global acceptance.
To what extent are fixed-wireless services part of your offering?
Most of the services we offer today are based on wireless technology. However, a significant number of our customers use our services in a fixed application mode. We are constantly evaluating the composition of our customer base to determine where to expand our services in future.
There’s been a lot of movement in the TD-LTE market recently with developments from Sprint and China Mobile. Are you confident you will be moving to TD-LTE at the right time?
We currently utilise WiMAX technology for our services. WiMAX technology utilises time division technology. Therefore, the evolution of our network technology plans to TD-LTE is a natural move. However, we want to continually evaluate all available technologies and ensure that our selection of the right technology is based on the selection of the best technology for our customers.
To what extent do faster broadband speeds have an impact on the economic, educational and political spheres in the region?
Azerbaijan is an emerging economy in the Caucasus region. The government is committed to the accelerated expansion of broadband services throughout the country and the delivery of broadband services with increasing speeds. Over 50 per cent of the population reside in small towns and villages where broadband services are not available. The government is now committed to the expansion of broadband services from the city to all regions of the country and especially into rural areas with special emphasis on education, health care and eGovernment services.
What are you most looking forward to regarding the BBWF?
We are constantly looking for new revenue enhancement services we can offer to our customers. In this respect, we will be particularly interested in new business opportunities offered by new technologies such as cloud computing, m2m, smart cities and OTT, etc.